Panther Deaths Near Record

Sixteen panthers have died after vehicle collisions this year, one shy of the 2009 record of 17. Researchers estimate the population is around 160 adults or sub-adults trying to establish hunting grounds.

Five panthers were killed by cars in November typically at dusk or night.

Dozens of wildlife underpasses were constructed along Interstate 75 between 1986 and 1993. Road kills along Alligator Alley stretching from the toll south of the 951 exit to Miami have been reduced by nearly 100 percent.

Unlike females who stay south of the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee male panthers will roam in search of feeding grounds and breeding partners.